The Indigenous Connections Project: Ancestral Homelands of the Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Ute at Rocky Mountain National Park

Type: Panel
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/9/2020
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Governors Square 10, Sheraton, Concourse Level
Organizers: Natasha Myhal
Chairs: Natasha Myhal


The land and waters within and around Rocky Mountain National Park hold significance to Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Ute peoples. Despite being displaced from the Colorado region, the Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Ute peoples remain active stewards in Colorado and believe tribal histories and contemporary connections to ROMO must be told to park visitors.

Since 2017, Rocky Mountain National Park’s (ROMO) Interpretation and Education Division has partnered with the University of Colorado Boulder (Center of the American West and the Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies), the NPS Intermountain Region (Cultural Anthropology Program), and representatives from the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in Oklahoma, the Northern Arapaho Tribe in Wyoming, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe in Montana, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe in Colorado, the Ute Indian Tribe of Uintah and Ouray in Utah, and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe in Colorado, on a project aimed at promoting better representation of tribal nations at the National Parks.

To date, the project has included two workshops at ROMO to bring together tribal partners, NPS staff, and CU faculty and students. The project team is now creating content summaries for each tribe that park staff will use in creating new programs and exhibits. The project team has also made visits to tribal representatives’ communities to learn about the work they are doing and gather information for the project.

This session brings together tribal partners, CU Boulder faculty, staff, and students, and NPS personnel to discuss the multi-year project goals, current project activities, and opportunities and challenges of building this sort of collaborative project. The panel participants will discuss what it means to build collaborative partnerships (in contrast to consultation) in developing research materials, exhibits, and programs at the park. The people participating in this project find it crucial to tell tribal stories to ROMO park visitors.


Type Details Minutes
Panelist Clint Carroll University of Colorado, Boulder 10
Panelist Brooke Neely University of Colorado Boulder 10
Panelist Kathy Brazelton East District Naturalist Rocky Mountain National Park 10
Panelist Hanley Frost Culture Education Coordinator, Southern Ute Tribe 10
Panelist Kelly Dick Rocky Mountain National Park 10
Panelist Crystal C'Bearing Northern Arapaho THPO 10

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